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Gwinnett County Police claim man faked racially motivated robbery

Insurance fraud, false reporting charged

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Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 10:26 am

Gwinnett police said a man destroyed his business and claimed he was the victim of a racially motivated attack.

Edwan Louis Coughman, 31, of Buford was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with false report of a crime, insurance fraud and concealing a license plate.

Shortly before 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, police were dispatched to a call of a burglary in progress at the Create and Bake Pizza and Coughman’s Creamery on Duluth Highway near Lawrenceville. A witness called 911 to say someone was inside damaging the business, and that a suspect was driving a black Chevrolet truck without a license plate.

Officers saturated the area and found the truck leaving the shopping center. Coughman was driving, and officers said they found several television sets, still attached to the brackets with damaged drywall, in the truck bed and cab.

Coughman owned the businesses, and when officers went inside, they found graffiti and symbols spray-painted on walls and cushions, including racially motivated words, swastikas and “MAGA,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Officers noticed the smell of spray paint was fresh, and they touched it and found it was wet.

Coughman reportedly told police he noticed the damage and theft earlier in the day and called his insurance company but did not call 911.

Officers and the lead detective learned the damage did not occur earlier in the day, and Coughman was arrested.

Police later obtained a search warrant on the truck, where they found a yellow crowbar and cans of black spray paint.

“It appears as though Edawn conjured a premeditated plan to damage his own property, attempt to make it appear as a hate crime, file a claim with his insurance company and sell off the undamaged appliances and electronics,” Cpl. Michele Pihera said.

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